Everyone loves a good family sitcom. Whether it’s because the sitcom shows off some familial truths or because it offers a family for people to watch who don’t have that same experience, the genre is a television staple for good reason. A show like Home Economics for example, airing on ABC became a comfort show of mines immediately when I watched the pilot when it aired. Loosely based on the creator Michael Colton’s experience with his own family, the show follows the Hayworth’s through the lens of Tom (Topher Grace), Sarah (Caitlin McGee), and Connor (Jimmy Tatro) after Connor’s divorce leads to the siblings and their own families spending more time together. It also manages to explore what it’s like to be in a family where everyone is also in different financial living situations with Connor being the youngest, yet the richest.
Currently, in its third season, Home Economics quickly became a fan favorite when it initially premiered. Jordyn Curet who plays Shamiah shares that the first two seasons were when she felt the most confident while season three was when she felt more nervous about the status of the show. “But I’m very lucky that we were able to get a season three because that’s really great and I’m glad that I get to work with my castmates again and my crew again,” she says.
“I feel like the most fulfilling part has definitely been the wisdom that I’ve taken with me. [They’ve] taught me a lot especially with my two moms on set because they’ve been a really big role mod/inspiration to me and they’re very kind, very sweet, very down-to-earth people and they’ve definitely taught me a lot about acting,” Jordyn gives love to Sasheer Zamata and Caitlin McGee who play Denise and Sarah, respectively. “They’ve just been very sweet and nice to me and so have the cast and crew.”
Working with Sasheer especially had Jordyn freaking out going into the project. She had already seen her in previous projects noting her time on SNL and shouting out her role in Spree, especially as a standout showing her range as a performer with the other works in her resume. So, when she found out that Sasheer would be playing her mom, she described it as both nerve-wracking and exciting.
I feel like the most fulfilling part has definitely been the wisdom that I’ve taken with me.
Her interest in working on the show also came from reading the script for her audition. “I was a little nervous but I thought it was a very funny role,” she says about her initial thoughts reading the scene from the pilot that she auditioned with. She did a few auditions unsure if she was going to get the role or not until she got invited to a producers and directors session where it really begin to set in how close she was to getting the role. “What drew me was definitely the writer and creator Michael Colton who she says was incredibly nice during the session alongside the director. “They complimented my acting skills but I was still a little nervous, but they were very nice. They made me feel comfortable and they said hi to my mom,” she notes the little things pointing out that they added up to make her even more excited when she booked the role.
Out of the cousins, Shamiah is the oldest. The adopted daughter of Denise and Sarah, she looks after her younger brother Kelvin (JeColbi Swain), and her cousins Gretchen (Shiloh Bearman), Camila (Chloe Jo Rountree), and the twins. In the new season, she transfers to Gretchen’s school which ultimately becomes a culture shock now that she’s surrounded by people who are her age but richer than she is. Considering her Uncle Connor and his daughter Gretchen are both rich and the family spends time at their house, including briefly this season when their apartment was damaged and they need a place to stay, it’s not Shamiah’s first time being around rich people at her new school but it does put her at a crossroads.
When Denise and Sarah find out that Shamiah has been lying to her classmates and pretending to be rich to fit in with them, they’re afraid that she’s lost her way, but Jordyn explains that while the way she handled it wasn’t the best, especially locking her moms out of the house, she completely understands why she would do it. “I still do believe though that Shamiah is definitely maybe a little jealous or scared that her friends don’t think that she’s cool enough to hang out with them because she doesn’t have as much money as them. And you know, financial situations are tough,” she says pointing out that especially with her moms their financial situation is even more in a bind currently as they save up to hopefully have a new baby. Jordyn stops quickly to point out that she can’t say much on that storyline but that the focus does remain on them saving up for the baby fund.
With all of that in mind then, it makes sense why Shamiah alongside her moms would find a little comfort and appeal when they stay with Connor and for a brief moment can feel like they don’t have to think about money. “I feel a little bad for her because her moms also kinda made it that this was the dreamlife and this was something that was just normal for them so maybe she just got caught up in all of that so she lied to her friends and locked her parents out.”
Seeing how Shamiah acts around her friends, especially with the way she feels the need to hide their actual living situation is what snaps her moms back to reality and makes them realize that they weren’t upholding the same values that they taught Shamiah to have regarding not relying on material things to make you happy and be sure to prioritize doing good in the world.
“I honestly think she’s still figuring it out. In the last episode, she was struggling because it can be confusing when your parents are saying, you know, ‘We live in a perfectly comfortable nice home and we need to be grateful for that,’ and also they’re pretending their apartment isn’t fixed and they want to live there longer because this is like the dream home. It can be confusing for sure,” Jordyn reflects. “I definitely think she’s still figuring it out, but I can definitely tell some progress [has been made] from [the] last episode.”
She resembles a bit of Sarah but she’s also a bit calm like Denise, so I feel like I see both of her moms in her, but I see a bit more of Sarah.
With all that said, out of all of the adults on the show, Jordyn says that she sees a lot of Sarah in Shamiah with how socially active and conscious she is. “She fights for what she wants, she’s very strong and she’s very adamant about what she wants,” Jordyn says. “She resembles a bit of Sarah but she’s also a bit calm like Denise, so I feel like I see both of her moms in her, but I see a bit more of Sarah.”
Since she and her brother are adopted, I ask her if there’s any possibility of us seeing Shamiah being interested in learning more about her birth parents as she sees her moms preparing to find a donor and have another child. While it doesn’t seem to currently be in the works, she shares that she’s excited about that as a potential future episode. “I feel like that would relate to a lot of children who are adopted including me,” she says. “I’m adopted and I always ask that question sometimes but I feel like that would be a great episode and I feel like that would be very relatable to a lot of people. I mean, just Shamiah being adopted is one way that I relate to her, but it’d be great to see that and it’d be great to see that on the screen and it’s definitely something I would love to see,” she says.
Because she relates to Shamiah being adopted, I ask her if she’s found herself talking to the writers about her experience or giving suggestions for how to write Shamiah in that regard, she shares that while she prefers to let the writers do their thing, she has given tiny suggestions that they’ve listened to and took into consideration, especially in episodes five and six of this season where both Shamiah and Jordyn are introduced to their very first love interest. “They definitely have been able to write me in a lot more and I’ve been able to do some fun stuff with Shamiah so I’m happy about that,” she adds.
Talking about having a love interest for the first time, she says that she was very nervous going in because she was afraid of embarrassing herself. “I didn’t want anyone to think like, ‘Oh, I got paired with a weirdo on set,'” she jokes. “But he was very kind and I was able to get through a bunch of our scenes together.” She follows up that in hindsight, it thankfully wasn’t as awkward an experience as she thought it would be and that although it felt awkward in the beginning, towards the end it felt more natural.
“I definitely hope that people see that besides political, financial, [and] personal differences, siblings can come together and they can still love each other–they can still be friends. Especially in the first season, you can see that a lot of the siblings are struggling to get along,” she says about what she wants viewers to take away from watching this show. “But we’re introducing a bunch of new topics in season three which I can’t wait for people to see about the family part. The parents are gonna get into something, there’s gonna be some drama–especially in the Halloween episode. I’m very excited though.”
Jordyn also tells me that we’ll get to see Denise’s parents for the first time (unfortunately, we won’t get to see Jojo…trust me, y’all as a member of the Jojo Hive, I had to ask) and how that plays into the Hayworth family dynamic as well. “But speaking on the message of family, I think the message they’re trying to get across is despite all the differences, you’re still family, you still love each other,” she wraps it up.
With a few episodes left for this season, Jordyn is sure not to give away anything to come, but when I ask her who she would love to have more scenes with, she does share that she recently shot a scene with Jimmy and Topher which she had a lot of fun doing, but also that she’d like to do more scenes with Karla and Sasheer (because who doesn’t love the Normals, absolute legends) because they’re fun to shoot scenes with. “I usually have a lot of fun with the adults because I usually work with the kids which is also fun but we see each other literally every single day so, you know, gotta switch it up,” she says.
As a character who I note is very good at holding her own with the adults, she notes with a laugh, “Yeah, she’s definitely grown now, but she needs to chill out a bit. She has a grown attitude and it’s not gonna end well if she keeps it up.”
While she’s young, Jordyn has a very impressive resume already. The roles that she says prepared her best for this series however are her parts on Raven’s Home and Bizaardvark due to the comedy elements. “Timing is definitely something that needs to be perfect with comedy so I feel like being able to hit it perfectly because of some of my past experiences, especially with Bizaardvark because I had a really great acting coach on set–they have them on a lot of the sets on Disney Channel–[has been] very helpful,” she says.
“I was able to get a better experience and able to really get what I needed and get the perfect timing and the right cue and delivery. I feel like that’s something that really prepared me, especially for comedy because that’s just something you want to have,” she shares. Noting her resume, I point out that she’s gotten to work with some pretty talented people. With a smile you can hear through the phone, she shares that it’s been an honor getting to work with the people she’s worked with.
I grew up admiring them and now I’m on set pursuing my dreams with them. So it’s been a very full circle moment I guess.
“I grew up admiring them and now I’m on set pursuing my dreams with them. So it’s been a very full circle moment I guess,” she says. “But I especially loved working with Olivia Rodrigo and the entire cast of Bizaardvark because they were very sweet and kind and they were just really great. They brought a such amazing energy to the set and I really loved working with them. It was my first time doing a TV show role and they were the perfect cast and crew to start off with,” she praises them.
She also notes that her time on Marriage Story was also very formative especially working with Scarlett Johansson who had her starstruck but whose presence she says she appreciated on set. “She was very humble, nice, and a very kind woman,” Jordyn says about her who she also shares a credit on with Scarlet’s movie Black Widow.
Aside from acting Jordyn is also interested in music. If you’ve watched any of her at-home video interviews, you’d notice she has ukulele’s on her wall as her instrument of choice. Currently, she says she’s taking a break from songwriting, but when it comes to singing, she finds herself singing contemporary, sad songs as her genre of choice. “I really like singing those songs because I feel like it really shows a lot of versatility and diversity in my voice range. Songs by Adele and Taylor Swift are the ones that she loves singing most exclaiming that both she and Caitlin [McGee] are huge Swifties.
Another musical inspiration she has are Whitney Houston who she says has been an inspiration to her since she was at least three singing “Every Woman” in the car and watching the music video on repeat, “I was obsessed with that music video. I still remember her vividly now. I probably have a video of me singing it when I was three but I love Whitney Houston and I like a lot of those kinds of artists too.”
Doing both singing and acting, she says that training herself as a singer has definitely helped her in regard to acting. “With singing, you got to have a lot of breathing and breath control. Sometimes on set, when I’m hanging out with a bunch of actors, I forget how to breathe so I always remember breathing exercises.” She jokes, “My vocal coach always tells me, ‘You need to breathe more,’ and I’m always like, ‘Yeah I know, you’re right.’ I’ve always loved doing those breathing exercises, they really calm me down and get me back to a steady pace. It’s something that I do on set sometimes when I’m starstruck.
If you’re hoping to see her sing sometime soon, you’re in luck as she has a new HBO Max movie coming out called Holiday Harmony. “My character [is] very shy which is something that I’ve never really played before because all of my characters have usually been very outgoing, but she’s very shy. She’s starstruck all of the time. She doesn’t really communicate but she learns to sing and she learns to communicate and she learns to find joy through her voice and singing.” It’s a project that Jordyn is really proud of and excited for people to see, especially since it gives people a new rom-com to watch during the holidays.
A huge fan of rom-coms herself, she gives a shoutout to The Princess Switch for example as being a top-tier holiday rom-com series that she finds herself watching on repeat even out of season. (13 Going on 30 is her absolute favorite for non-Christmas rom-coms, but she also gives shoutouts to How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Clueless.) “I think [Holiday Harmony] is like the perfect holiday movie because I love rom-coms and especially because Jeremy Sumpter is in it and he plays the live-action Peter Pan and he was really great in that movie and I was a little starstruck because I had a big childhood crush on him and I was a little nervous and very excited to work with him,” she smiles over the phone praising the project for the amazing actors she got to work with doing it.
New episodes Home Economics air every Wednesday on ABC at 9:30/8:30pm central.
Holiday Harmony begins streaming on HBO Max November 24th.
(photo cred: Diana Ragland)